By Jennifer Wright
Over the summer, the West Side lounge, The Gates, has become quite the center of the late-night social scene. Management has been smart. They cultivate a group of young, trendy “Ambassadors” and their PR group scored a coup with a very complimentary article in a recent New York Times Sunday Styles section (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/fashion/23boite.html?_r=) I’m not sure if I love (or hate) the décor (plucked from the Biltmore Hotel), but I know that for many of the parties and fundraisers I attend, this place has made a mark on New York’s nightclub scene.
And now Gossip Girl (the best show ever!) has awarded its stamp of approval. A few days ago, the cast was filming in all their flapper-attire glory—and The Gates threw a 1920s-inspired party to celebrate. It was roaring!
I was downright in love with Leighton Meester’s white fringed flapper dress, although I was surprised to see her without a headband in this scene. Perhaps her college-bound character is truly giving up her trademark accessory. That would be a shame, not only for the fashion industry, but because the 1920s lends itself to some great feathered hairpieces.
I was also excited to see Hilary Duff. She has never been on Gossip Girl before, but is rumored to have a major role this season. Some sources report that she’s supposed to have a romance with one of the characters, but they decline to out the lucky fellow. (I’m betting it’s Penn Badgley, but, then again, I thought the same about him and Michelle Trachtenberg.) In any event, Duff looked adorable in a short, blue sequined dress. She was sporting a headband, so they can’t be gone from the show altogether.
How did all this action fit the story line? Rumor has it, The Gates is the setting for the character Chuck Bass’ nightclub. It marks a shift from the Box, which has, until now, doubled for his fictional club, Victrola. Perhaps, this move means that the Box is officially over? It would hardly be a surprise. Raven O, the famous—or infamous?—MC has departed, and lately, the acts seem more seedy strip club than old fashioned burlesque. Well, it had a great run while it lasted.
The Gates may not be as decadent as the Box in its heyday, (none of those curtained, private boxes for dark deeds) but maybe that’s more desirable in this economic climate. I’ll miss the free wheeling, devil-may-care attitude the Box always evoked. After all, when burlesque performers were dancing onstage to 80’s hits in a way that put Moulin Rouge performers to shame, you had the feeling that anything could happen. At The Gates, you settle down and realize that you can enjoy an excellently crafted cocktail among a very carefully selected group of members.
It’s probably a more mature approach to party going. The characters in Gossip Girl are heading to college this season. Perhaps, they, like many other New Yorkers, now have a slightly more grown-up, less wild and crazy, approach to nightlife.
Pictures via Getty and Flikr